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Twomey Cellars

Twomey Cellars originated in 2000 from a goal of owners Raymond Twomey Duncan and his family to use a labor-intensive approach, soutirage traditonal, employed by the classified growths in Bordeaux to make a Napa Valley Merlot of great distinction from a single vineyard, Soda Canyon Ranch. The soutirage traditional is a slow process of decanting the wine from one barrel to another without the use of pumps. The wine transfers by gravity using special barrels from France (a video of this process is on the website). The Twomey Merlot was initially released in 2000 and has been well-received.

Duncan, who was a long time owner of Silver Oak Cellars, acquired a 9-acre vineyard (West Pin Vineyard) on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley in 2000 which became the centerpiece of the winery’s new Pinot Noir program. The vineyard is planted to Pommard and Dijon clones and is meticulously farmed with rigorous canopy management and crop thinning. The 2004 vintage marked the first that new plantings from this vineyard were included in the blend. In 2006 Twomey began also sourcing Pinot Noir from Crinella Vineyard in Forestville to blend with the West Pin fruit. The Roshambo Winery in Healdsburg on Westside Road was acquired by Twomey and retrofitted to produce Pinot Noir.

Twomey has gradually developed relationships with growers in various other regions of California and today winemaker Ben Cane, who joined Twomey in 2007, oversees the label’s four Pinot Noirs including wines from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley and Santa Barbara County. A Sauvignon Blanc from the family’s estate vineyard in Calistoga has been added recently to the portfolio.

Winemaking is traditional. The fruit is harvested in the early morning and rigorously sorted. Whole clusters are added to open-top fermenters and the must undergoes a 7-day cold soak. The clones are fermented separately. The Pinot Noirs are typically aged 13 months sur lies in 50% new French Burgundy barrels and racked only once for blending and bottling.

2007 Twomey Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $50. · Moderately light in color. Delicate aromas of Bing cherries, roses, freshsawn oak and baking spices. The cherry core is rich and flavorful enhanced with oak spice and buttressed with ample acidity. Raspberries linger on the long and dry finish. The velvety texture is heavenly. A seamless wine with that signature Pinot Noir ephemeral character.

Twomey offers tasting at both their Calistoga Estate and Healdsburg Estate Monday through Saturday. Tours of the wineries are available by appointment. The wines are sold on the website ( and through retail channels. 800-505-4850.

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